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Newly single older people need to do their financial homework

People in Texas who have been married for many years may take a lot of things for granted -- if one spouse typically handles finances for the couple, for example, the other may know next to nothing about the joint financial picture.

However, if that couple should divorce -- which is not as uncommon among older couples as it once was -- then each person is obviously responsible for his or her own finances going forward. However, for some people who have been married for a long time, it may take some re-education in terms of what to expect from a financial perspective.

Here are some things that might come up that newly divorced but financially inexperienced people ought to become familiar with before they set out on their own:

  • Learn about real estate. Whether selling the family home, buying a new home or both, laws surrounding real estate and taxes might be substantially different from when a home was bought.
  • Get financial planning advice. Some people might think that if a single person is retiring instead of a couple that there doesn't need to be as much effort put into financial planning. However, single people might need more attention to make sure they have adequate retirement savings.
  • Remember your new status. Lower limits apply for such things as retirement plan contributions for single people than for married couples. For example, married couples can often contribute $46,000 total to a vehicle such as a 401(k). An individual, however, can only contribute half that much, or $23,000.

Source: Fox Business, "Financial Planning for Newly-Single Boomers," Casey Dowd, Feb. 14, 2013

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